YMCA Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Starting in the 2025-2026 school year, Blackstone Valley Prep High School (BVPHS) scholars will have the opportunity to attend classes and engage in extracurricular activities in a newly built out education hub at the Pawtucket Family YMCA. This partnership will not only enable BVPHS to successfully serve all of its incoming high school scholars, it will also result in a historic investment in the city of Pawtucket.

“I want to commend Blackstone Valley Prep and the YMCA of Pawtucket on their transformative partnership,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “This educational hub will serve as a safe and fulfilling learning environment for years to come.”

Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) has signed a 30 year lease with the YMCA of Pawtucket to build out an education hub at 20 Summer Street that will host up to 140 BVP scholars at a time. This agreement is far more than a lease – it is the beginning of a partnership that will open up new opportunities for youth from Pawtucket and neighboring communities in Rhode Island.

“The Family YMCA has been a staple in the community for family, fitness and wellness programming for generations, and we’re looking forward to this partnership to expand teen programming, as well as a myriad of possibilities for new initiatives that would support the broader community,” said Jeff Merhige, President & CEO, YMCA of Pawtucket. “ I know BVP and the YMCA are excited to be part of downtown Pawtucket’s vibrant future and to support the incredible work and investments spearheaded by Mayor Grebien, members of the Pawtucket City Council, and our Pawtucket delegation in the General Assembly.”

In addition to serving BVP scholars and building out more teen-centered programming for all youth at the YMCA, this collaboration represents a historic partnership and investment.

“This will be one of the first co-location partnerships between a youth development organization and a school in the country, and we have a chance to dream big,” said Sarah Anderson, CEO and Superintendent, BVP. “In the coming year, through a combination of financing and philanthropic support, we will invest $5 million dollars to renovate the space to meet the needs of our scholars and teachers, while also supporting the wider Pawtucket community. This will be an exciting and inclusive process, and we will be working with BVP staff, families, scholars, and members of the Pawtucket community to design the program at the education hub, which will open in Fall 2025.”

About Blackstone Valley Prep
Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) is a network of high-performing, tuition-free charter public schools in Rhode Island. As an intentionally diverse network of six schools, BVP offers a high-quality public school option to the families of Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, and Pawtucket and currently serves approximately 2,250 scholars ages 5-22. BVP’s mission is to prepare every scholar to achieve their goals for college and the world beyond. More information can be found at

About the YMCA of Pawtucket
The YMCA offers a variety of programs and services to individuals of all ages. The YMCA is dedicated to building a stronger, healthier community through its commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and holistic wellbeing. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change. The YMCA of Pawtucket comprises the following branches across the state: Pawtucket Family YMCA and Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center in Pawtucket, Four Corners Early Learning Center in Cumberland, MacColl YMCA and Magic Minds Academy in Lincoln, and Westwood YMCA in Coventry.